Monday, November 26, 2012

Spintastic - Start to Turkish

I love spinning.  It has me wrapped around its little spindle.
One day I shall have a wheel.
In the meantime, I am quite content with my small collection of spinning tools.

After my very first home-made spindle,
this is what PhD-dissertation-induced 2am boredom can get you if you have a few office supplies on hand and a bag of fibre to stare at

I borrowed a few spindles from a friend and decided I liked the Turkish style spindles best (of suspended spindles), although I did have fun with a lovely top whorl as my first serious foray into spinning. (Thanks again to Lofty Fibres J for getting me started.)

I was so PROUD of my first "real" spinning.

Rigged this up for plying.
Not too shabby for my first attempts
I bought a Knit Picks spindle first - an inexpensive investment - and some delicious BFL from Etsy.
(My very first fibre above was white Romni I picked up at Romni Wools in Toronto to stuff a wool teddy bear.)

Single ply

project in stages (FO was frogged and is a different UFO now)

Or maybe this Lofty Fibres was my first spinning-fibre purchase.  It seems like forever ago.  They were roughly from the same "era" of my spinning... back when I only had one spindle.

times have changed.

The majority of my spindles are now from Threads Thru Time / Thomas Creations on Etsy.  I have purchased 2 mediums, 1 tiny, and 2 large Turkish spindles.  (Alas, one medium disappeared.)  I love them. They're so much prettier than my KP spindle.  They spin wonderfully.
However, in looking for posts about spinning angora I found these beauties by Jeri Brock and I need one.

Plying on a large blue

comparing my large and tiny and plying from both ends of my single ply

tiny spindle of silk - current project

large spindle of alpaca - current project
One of the wonderful things about using my Turkish spindles is being able to spin while still taking care of babies.  They also love watching the spinning.

Baby asleep in a wrap as I spin

That's enough spindle pictures for one post. Next time I'll feature my non-Turkish spindles.  (Note to self, get some decent photos of other spindles...)

Thursday, November 22, 2012

needle felting

Once upon a time I didn't like knitting.  Then one day I loved it.
Once upon a I didn't have a yarn stash. (Mer and Heather are chuckling.) Then we went yarn-store-hopping. And there were regular excursions to Shall We Knit just to get out of the house with kiddo.
Once upon a time I didn't spin.  Then I was bored late one night and built a spindle from a CD, highlighter and paper clip to spin the fibre I'd bought years earlier to stuff a bear.
Once upon a time I didn't poke at fibre with a needle...

Priscilla the Eco Fairy needed wings for her new sleeper-sleeve-tube dress.  So kiddo and I mozied out to the big box craft store with two 50% off coupons and picked up a couple needle felting tools.  Priscilla's wings were my very first project.

 Next I a formed some fibre into a heart and added kiddo's initial for fun.

I needed more things to play with... I cut up a small (accidentally) felted soaker and cut a tree to decorate.  But all my fibre was too dark. I needed something bright.

This variegated sock yarn leftover was the perfect solution and now I have another way to make use of yarn ends.

I also have this package of mini fibre balls to play with. (Thanks Chris).

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Berries and Blue

As I began to spin the new silk I realized it greatly reminds me (fibre type aside) of my first hand-dyed fibre, which I purchased from a friend -- Lofty Fibres of KW

That wool blend colourway was named Berries and Blue.  My new silk has the same wine-purple and blues as I spin it.

My intention, now, is to ply it with my black alpaca for mittens. Thus I can play with the silk now without feeling guilty for starting a new 'project'.  Also working on the alpaca.

Tuesday, November 6, 2012


Don't you love when you forget that you ordered fiber on Etsy and then it arrives?

I do.
This was my silky order. A merino-silk blend (80/20 on top) and silk top.
It made my day a little brighter when I placed the order a couple weeks ago (Oct 20) and brighter yet when it arrived today. It's only been 2 weeks - but that's 2 weeks of twin-time, which feels longer.

I've spun a wee bit of silk hanky - a sample bit from another order (To-Ply Fiber Arts on Etsy).

It was fun - and luxurious. 

Which would explain why I added more silk to my fiber stash. Now that I'm looking, I have 8 oz of merino silk in 'garnet' waiting to be spun also. Plus the luxury batt and top my friend sent from KW Knitters Fair.

I definitely need to get to spinning silk!

And let's be honest, what's the likelyhood I'll finish spinning my black alpaca for mittens?